Dear friends of classical music,

Leon Fleisher is an American pianist and conductor with a remarkable story. In 1964 he lost the ability to play due to a condition affecting his right hand. It was only at the beginning of the new millennium that he, thanks to experimental botox injections, recovered to the point where he could play again with both hands. His story is a life-affirming one. Two new recordings with Leon Fleisher were reviewed this month: Four Hands is a moving husband and wife collaboration and Two Hands is a solo recital that got an Editor-F¢s Choice in International Piano.

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Because of budgets cuts during the previous decade new star-studded studio opera recordings of the size of this Warner production became practically extinct. So it was with much anticipation that opera lovers looked forward to this release of Aida. Luckily the recording does not disappoint. -F¡It¢s an excellent modern addition to the canon¢ says Francis Muzzu in Opera Now.
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Bacewicz is a composer that never fails to impress me. There are already good recordings of the string quartets available on the Polish label Acte Préalable but we-F¢re spoiled now with a highly convincing new cycle on Naxos. This recording is the Editor's Choice in the November issue of Classical Music. This is music you really should investigate.
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Music and music criticism are not exact sciences as is proven by these two diverging reviews of the same recording. There is Philip Reed in Choir & Organ who has nothing but nice words and five stars for this Telemann-recording on Etcetera. On the other hand there is the review of Brian Robins in Early Music Today who is referring to this recording as -F¡pleasing, but somewhat bland¢.

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Reviews are very useful to find your way through the many releases every month but in the end it is the listener who has to make up his own mind.

Happy reading and listening!

Johan Plochaet
agoraclassica.com
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